What the Candidates Think  

Obama: President Obama reportedly wanted a larger stimulus bill than the $787 billion plan he ultimately signed, but he was skeptical that a more costly spending plan would pass Congress. At a press conference on the one-year anniversary of the bill being signed into law, the president toutedthe “dramatic action” that was taken by the bill:

“Let’s face it, no large expenditure is ever that popular, particular at a time when we’re facing a massive deficit. But we acted because failure to do so would have led to catastrophe. We acted because we had a larger responsibility than simply winning the next election. We had a responsibility to do what was right for the U.S. economy and the American people. One year later, it is largely thanks to the Recovery Act that a second depression is no longer a possibility.” 

Romney: Gov. Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, both have spoken out against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

According to the National Journal, while visiting Iowa this spring, Romney said,  “President Obama started out with a near trillion-dollar stimulus package ... the biggest, most careless one-time expenditure by the federal government in history. And remember this: the stimulus wasn’t just wasted — it was borrowed and wasted.  We still owe the money, we’re still paying interest on it and it will be that way long after this president’s out of office.”

Brown: On the day Scott Brown was sworn in as a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, he saidon the Senate floor that the stimulus legislation “hasn’t created one new net job” — a statement he has repeated and defended several times since. 

Warren: Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren promoteswhat she calls a “Rebuild Now” plan, which would spend $50 billion in new spending on infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges and high-speed internet projects. Warren has refused to call the plan a “stimulus.”

From 2009 to 2012, the stimulus "increased the number of full-time equivalent jobs by 2.0 million to 4.8 million, compared with what would have occurred." (Congressional Budget Office)

Think More About It

Track Stimulus funds

Congressional reports on tax, unemployment and state fiscal relief from the Tax Policy Center

The Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office